IS THE BEAR SANPAKU OR JUST A VIDEO GAME KNOCKOFF?
Must Read Alaska has heard from several readers with opinions about the new Alaska State Trooper logo and branding.
One Asian scholar observed that the bear’s eyes are “sanpaku,” which a Japanese term describing an unhealthy condition where the whites of the eyes are visible below the iris as well as along the sides — three sides of white.
In some Asian medical interpretations, this is evidence of someone who attracts accidents and violence. Famous people who were sanpaku include former President John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana.
Several retired State Troopers are disapproving of the new logo, slogan and rebranding of the Alaska State Troopers for different reasons than a sanpaku bear.
Nearly all of the comments have been critical of the change since Must Read Alaska published its initial story about the new look.
The rebranding is, for now, limited to the recruiting office and confined to two recruiting vehicles.
Last week, a retired Trooper sent a letter to Gov. Bill Walker articulating the concerns of the retired law enforcement officers with whom he had been in touch.
The letter reads:
Dear Gov. Walker,
Very recently it was announced by the Director’s Office of the Alaska State Troopers that the patrol car door decals and motto was being changed. The motto: “Loyalty, Integrity, Courage” will now be “Guardians of the 49th”. The below image is one the Director’s Office chose for a new door decal:
We retired members of the Department object strenuously to this change for several reasons:
- It is unnecessary, the present motto, “Loyalty, Integrity, Courage”, has been part of the Alaska State Troopers since the 1960’s; it is a cherished part of our history.
- The present decal was new in early 2005; it then replaced the more popular blue diagonal slash with the image of a Trooper’s badge.
- The current action is taken by a Commissioner and his Director without a clear reason for change other than their legacy.
- The purported justification of increasing recruitment and retention defies the comments on the Department of Public Safety social media page. At last count there were 243 negative responses to 1 positive.
- The Department has a high number of vacant trooper positions and asked the legislature for funding to fill them; spending dollars on decals is not fiscally responsible.
- In a year the residents of Alaska were asked to take a cut in their PFD to help fund State operations this expenditure appears superfluous at best.
- The new image the Director’s Office selected closely resembles one from “Titan Bear Gaming”, an online gaming group, hardly one would expect as a source for a professional law enforcement agency.
We assure you that present and past field personnel remain focused on the real public safety issues confronting the State. It is our objective to stop the nonsensical decal action and re-direct attention to traditional law enforcement activities.
I have sent this information out to over 250 members of the Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers and to date all the responses have expressed disappointment, frustration, anger, and disgust with this change. I suspect you were not aware of this action by the Commissioner of Public Safety; I hope you will rectify it. This is an issue that I will remember at the ballot box.
The letter to the governor is signed by Norm Carson of Pelican, Alaska, a retired Trooper lieutenant and Southeast Alaska Commander, who served from 1968 to 1990. It was forwarded to Must Read Alaska by one of Carson’s fellow troopers.